It’s July. It’s steamy. You’re likely sweating. And yet tonight’s dinner still has to be made. Instead of cranking on the stove and making your kitchen and home only more sweltering, skip the range altogether and opt for a stove-free supper. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts showed off new ways to enjoy a Stove-Free Summer, including one machine that will save the day come dinnertime: the slow cooker. Thanks to this do-the-work-for-you device, you can set and forget many of the same items you’d otherwise watch over on the stove. And best of all, it doesn’t heat up your kitchen. Check out two ways to prep mussels right in the slow cooker for simple weeknight cooking.
Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.
Barbecue has been an American dietary staple since the 1600s (the first recorded mention was in 1672), but it’s currently having a moment — a long, drawn-out moment. For the past decade or so, the traditional Southeastern style of slow-cooking meat has been creeping north and west, into establishments run by famed restaurateurs and celebrity chefs. With all the new smoked-meat spots opening around the country, we decided it was time to ask the pros which ones are really the best. Here, five chefs fill us in on their favorite barbecue restaurants.
Bacon. Most of us probably take for granted that it’s an American breakfast staple, but it turns out that the popularity of those sizzling strips of pork was more than just happenstance.
As The Washington Post details in a new video, in the 1920s the Beech-Nut Packing Company wanted to boost Americans’ taste for bacon. They assigned that task to a public relations pioneer named Edward Bernays, who was a nephew of Sigmund Freud and used psychology to market products. Bacon — and big breakfasts in general — had been popular in rural America but had fallen out of favor in the early 20th century, when people migrated to cities and began eating things like processed cereals for breakfast.
We all know Ted Allen as the stern host of Chopped, and now Chopped Junior, and as a veritable wealth of culinary knowledge. But there’s another side to the man. Did you know he likes gardening in his spare time or that he’s big into rock music? Find out more about the host behind the scenes and at home.
1. “Ironically, when you consider where I work, I’m very much a slow-food guy. … I don’t even want to cook food that’s fast. I like to watch flavor develop. I spend hours in the kitchen any chance I get.”
If you’ve ever organized a road trip, then you know how tricky it is to locate desirable dining options on particularly remote stretches of road. And if your travel companions are picky eaters, it makes the challenge all the more impossible come mealtime. Snacking in the car may not seem like the most-glamorous way to experience the open road, but it’s often our most-reliable (and most-affordable) option. Perhaps you’re worried about turning your vehicle into a greasy spoon on wheels — a valid concern, especially if you’re traveling with kids. Do your co-pilots a favor and avoiding packing foods that tend to be oily, crumbly or pungent. You’ll keep your car clean and your spirits high. Not sure what dishes fit the mold? Here are a few suggestions.
As long as you have an insulated cooler bag or some other reliable source of refrigeration on your journey, there are no holds barred on pasta salad. We recommend something light and bright, with minimal dressing, or else you’ll be chomping on wilted, soggy greens. Rachael Ray’s wholesome Spinach-Artichoke Pasta Salad would definitely do the trick, as would this hearty Tomato-Feta Pasta Salad.
Stay in this weekend as your favorite Food Network stars cook up their favorite stay-at-home meals. First up, Ree Drummond bought chicken in bulk and is showing you three different ways to prepare it, including Broccoli, Chicken Pie and Chicken Kale Caesar Salad. Next, the hosts of The Kitchen are keeping it cool and cooking stove-free with recipes like Mojito and Microwave Asparagus and Slow-Cooker Thai Mussels. After, Valerie Bertinelli’s spending the day home alone, and she’s cooking up Smoky Cheddar Cheese Crackers and Roasted Artichoke Hearts Provencal from her pantry staples. Last, Patricia Heaton is bringing the taste of Spain to her kitchen as she puts together tasty tapas treats like Puff Pastry-Wrapped Chorizo and a refreshing white sangria.
Then on Sunday, four young, up-and-coming chefs go head-to-head for a chance to win $20,000 on Guy’s Grocery Games. Next, the finalists on Food Network Star will have to whip up a five-course meal consisting of indulgent guilty-pleasure favorites. After that, Geoffrey Zakarian is back with an all-new season of Cooks vs. Cons, where heavyweight chefs battle it out with amateur cooks in two delicious challenges.
Sipping lemonade on the porch (bonus points if you’ve got a swing) isn’t a symbol of summer for nothing. And you’ll never be too far from your next pitcher when you’ve got a recipe roster like this at the ready.
Perfect Homemade Lemonade (above)
Before you get fancy, make sure you’ve nailed the basics. Ree Drummond’s quintessential recipe makes a giant batch, perfect for filling a party-sized dispenser.
By Angela Carlos
Summer has officially arrived on the Chopped Junior set. This week contestants unpacked their summer-themed baskets filled with fresh eggplant, watermelon gelatin and beach-ball cake pops. The challenge, as always, was how to make something tasty out of so many incongruent items.
You wouldn’t necessarily believe that “smaller is better” when it comes to summer fruit pies — but leave it to the reliably adorable Mason jar to convince you. While you might cast aside the metal lids in favor of sipping lemonade Pinterest style, they’re actually the perfect vessels for baking mini pies. Our recipe has blueberries and peaches — absolutely delicious topped with a melty scoop of ice cream. Good thing you can easily claim a portion that’s all yours.